The Media Library is a tool for storing, administering and uploading media files to the system. The Media Library allows you to handle media files of various types: images, Word documents, PDF files, sound files, or movie clips. The media files stored in the Media Library may be embedded into the website content. You may also provide links to them, which will allow the website visitors to download the specified media files.
You can access the Media Library by clicking on Media library in the lower left corner of the Sitecore Content Editor.
Working within the Media library is very similar to working within the CMS Content Editor. There will be a few differences, however, and some will be immediately apparent.
Despite these differences, working with media in the “Media Library” remains very consistent with the process with which we work with written web content. In that respect, media items must be created and published in order to be accessible on the web.
Once the media library has been opened from within the Sitecore Content Editor and your specific upload folder has been selected, you will have access the “media” tab on which you will find two options for uploading.
The first option is associated with an icon that looks like the figure to the right. Use this shortcut to upload files one at a time – this is useful when you are creating new files that do not already exist and you only have one file to upload. If you are uploading an updated version of a file or multiple files, it is more efficient to use the next option for “Advanced”.
The “Advanced” option for file upload allows users to overwrite old files with new versions, and also permits editors to upload more than one file at a file.
When clicking the “File” option, the user is presented with the following wizard interface which can then be used to “browse” for files on your local computer which should be uploaded to the Sitecore CMS.
Browse to the single file you intend to upload and then click “Upload” in the lower right corner of the wizard interface. Depending on the size of the file being uploaded and the speed of your internet connection, it may take between a few seconds or a few minutes for the upload process to complete.
Once the upload has completed, however, you will be presented with the main media library screen on which you will now see your file listed under the folder you initially selected.
If the file you uploaded is an image, then a smaller version of the image will be displayed in the content pane. If the file you uploaded is something other than an image file, a generic icon will be displayed in the “Media” area of the content pane.
Once the file has been uploaded, you must then “Publish” it like any other content item within Sitecore. The process for publishing media items is identical to that which you use for publishing web content items, though there is no need for an “approval” stage.
Sitecore provides a more advanced method of upload files; this method allows editors to upload more than one file at a time and to update existing collateral. With your folder selected, this advanced interface is accessed by clicking the “Advanced” button in the media toolbar.
The advanced upload button will then launch a wizard through which multiple file uploads can be defined, including an option to overwrite existing files with the same name. Please note, however, that you must select multiple files individually. That is, use the browse button to the right to select one file and then use subsequent file selection fields to select other files. When done selecting files, click the “upload” button.
As before, the speed of your internet connection and the size of the files in aggregate will influence the apparent response time of the CMS.
When the batch upload has completed, the lower half of the advanced upload wizard displays the files which have been successfully uploaded. If there are any problems, this area will also be used to describe those problems to you.
Click “Close” when done and you will be presented the media library, which should now be updated to display the new uploads. As before, these new items must be published before they can be used on the web; since you have uploaded more than one file, you can choose to publish them each individually or you may publish their containing folder for maximum efficiency.
Note: You must publish anything that you upload, even if it is a replacement of something that already exists. Overwritten files must be published too.
It is recommended that you upload all new media items before beginning work on web content; this is suggested simply for the sake of efficiency. In this manner, you can incorporate all of your new media as you create new content items and you will not be required to flip between the media library and the content editor repeatedly.
Utilizing your new media items in the CMS is simple. Switch back over to the “Content Editor” using the navigation bar along the bottom of your screen.
Next, open the web content you intend on edit and place it in “Edit” mode. Launch the “Content Editor.”
The steps you take next will vary slightly depending on how you want the media items to display on your web site.
Use the yellow icon (“InsertSiteCoreLink”) to establish links to media files which will open when the user visits a particular link. The icon on the right for “InsertSitecoreMedia” is useful for adding photography or graphics to web pages that will be displayed immediately when the user visits your web page.
It is always a good idea to visit all new links once a new page or link has been established. Once your new links have been created, publish your pages as normal and then test the links by visiting the web page and clicking all old and new links within your web browser.
The InsertSitecoreMedia link is used only to add images to web pages. It cannot presently be used to embed audio or video clips – audio and video must be linked using the aforementioned “InsertSitecoreLink” button.
Once the image has been added to your web page, be sure to publish the page as normal and view it on the web within your web browser. If the image does not display correctly, first revisit its listing within the content editor and be sure to explicitly publish the image again. More often than not, images that do not display correctly on the web are not in a completed, published state, even if they do display properly within the CMS itself.
Explicitly publishing the image content item from within the media library will correct this problem and permit the image to display correctly within the context of this web page. Note that even though it is not displaying correctly on the web site, it was displaying perfectly within the CMS throughout this process. This is why it is important to view completed web pages on the web and not to rely solely on the preview generated within the CMS.
Below are examples of what you would see if an image were not published correctly in five different browsers.
Note that some browsers will use the image's "alt text" property in place of a broken link icon. Giving images alternate text not only helps users who cannot see the images, but gives the browser something else to put in place of an image it cannot find.